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Posted by JGarcia on 2023/9/3 17:16:05 (182 reads)


Shudokan Aikido is a founding member of the Shudokan Aikido Association, a group of traditional Japanese style martial arts schools established in 2004. For almost 20 years we have been teaching traditional Aikiki Aikido following the teaching of Morihei Ueshiba (known as O’Sensei) and his direct disciple, Hiroshi Kato Sensei (8th Dan). We emphasize effective self-defense, personal discipline and a solid understanding of Aikido principals.

What is Aikido? Using pinning techniques, joint locking techniques, and throws, Aikido involves interesting and challenging methods of dealing with aggression and using that same aggression to control the opponent. Our training is cooperative and we believe in safety and concern for our training partners as well as effectiveness.

Aikido is practiced by men, women and children around the world. Because Aikido does not require great strength, it is considered good for women, and children. It is good for all ages and everyone trains to the level of their physical condition and ability. Aikido is also a good method for stress relief, weight management, and exercise.

Come and watch a class and see if Aikido is the martial art you have been looking for!

Feel free to contact us if we can answer any questions or help you in any way. For more information, see the FAQ listed at the top of this page.

Our Houston Dojo is conveniently located in the West Houston/ Katy/ Cypress area at Shudokan Martial Arts, 17111 Kieth Harrow, Houston,Tx 77084.

We are affiliated with Aikido World Headquarters and the Suginami Aikikai in Tokyo Japan.

Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:35:06 (20568 reads)

Welcome to our website. The Shudokan School of Aikido has it's history and beginnings in our founder's own Aikido career which began in Corpus Christi, Texas.

"I started Aikido in August of 1995 at the Corpus Christi Aikikai. It was there in a small but closely knit dojo that I learned the art of Aikido from a very dedicated group of Aikidoists that I still remember with great fondness. The names of Jerry and Gail Thompson, Matt Crocker, Mike Rains, Gilbert Fuentes, Laura Stuckey, and Hector Chavez will forever be implanted in my mind. They were my sempais, my friends, and my role models. I learned the art from them. My teachers were Eddie Martinez and Larry Salazar. Eddie was a forever positive and encouraging teacher. Instinctive, fast and fun are words I think of when I think of Eddie Sensei. Larry Sensei was dramatic, explosive and powerful. These two men had the respect of the students and had a real and significant impact for Aikido in that city. Of course, there were hundreds of other students, maybe thousands that were a part of the dojo over a ten year period. Rick Ricard, Charlie Marks, Joel Molina and so many others that I cannot tell. They were there and the atmosphere was magical.

My family moved to Houston in June of 1998 and we initially joined a dojo called Tumbleweed here in Houston. I still remember that on my first visit, I saw a handsome young man wearing a brown belt and a hakama moving from person to person throwing them and being thrown. His name was Rick Laue. Again, he was a wonderful and confident human being that was a role model to me. His co teacher was Tom Oreck of the Oreck company who was also a good and dedicated Aikidoist. The dojo soon closed and I joined the Nations Aikikai in November of 1998. I was there briefly when I noticed an announcement for a seminar that was being held in town with a shihan from Japan named Hiroshi Kato. When I witnessed his Aikido, I realized I was looking at a different kind of Aikido. I knew then that I had found my new path.

Being under the guidance of Hiroshi Kato Sensei changed my life. On the path that he showed me, I learned endurance, perseverance, and how to suffer in my Aikido training. I was taught a different way of looking at Aikido and how to make Aikido really work. I learned how to be patient and how to be who I was quietly and so many other things that there is not room to tell.

In December of 2003, with Kato Sensei's approval, I left being a student and I ventured out on my own. I did so because I needed to grow and I had my own ideas about how to do and be the lessons of Aikido. I started the Shudokan School of Aikido in January of 2004 at the YMCA and we begin strongly with 52 new students. Kato Sensei immediately adopted our dojo into his family of affiliate dojos and we got started on building a new dojo. There was a fire in the air and an excitement and things started up with a flare. We saw so many students go through there and we had huge classes and loads of fun and learning experiences. I started a second group at Highway 6 a year later and we soon had almost 70 students. We started holding large seminars and we got some what of a presence in West Houston as things progressed.

In 2008, we made the decision to combine the two groups. After doing so, we then made a move to Katy, Texas to a location on Fry Road but we were not there long before I began to feel that this location was not going to work for us. It was then that I came across a location on a heavily traveled street called Kieth Harrow. It was a crazy idea. I had no money, no resources, no way to do this but I decided to try. A few students quickly promised support. They were Russell Thomas and his wife Jennifer. Jorge Verar, an aiki kid parent and real estate agent also promised to advise us and soon, others also joined the advisory team. I told the rest of the members about it and they began forwarding advance dues and donations and between all of us, we were able to finance the build out of the new dojo and a new day came to the Shudokan School of Aikido.

It has now been 10 years since this dojo started. We are an established presence in this area of west Houston and we now have had over 28 major seminars with Kato Sensei at the new location alone. We now have a student body of almost 100 active students every month. Apart from being open 7 days a week, we emphasize almost every aspect of this art from the training to the philosophy and the history of the art. We welcome new seekers who want to learn to walk on this Aikido path with us. It will be a life changing experience for you if you pursue it sincerely.

Would you consider joining us and becoming a part of this Aikido challenge? We need you and the energy and life you can bring to us as we train together and learn and grow in Aikido. Call me and let's talk. This is a life changing and incredible experience, if you will give yourself to it. Do it today!"

Jorge Garcia, Founder
Shudokan School of Aikido / Hiroshi Kato Juku
Houston, Texas

Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:34:46 (61366 reads)


Hiroshi Kato, 8th Degree Black Belt (1935 - 2012)
former Shudokan Master Instructor

Born in Tokyo 1935, Kato-sensei began Aikido training in 1954 at Aikido World Headquarters under the instruction of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, otherwise known as O’Sensei. Introduced to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo through his mother’s network of connections when he was 19, he trained there daily as well as spending long hours perfecting his personal practice. Working during the day as a printer, he attended classes at night. (For this reason he was unable to be an uchideshi, and does not appear in early photographs with them.) He continued to train for over 58 years at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo; although in later years, he primarily taught at his Suginami Aikikai dojo, but still attended special events at Aikido World Headquarters.

After his first 10 years at Hombu Dojo, Kato Sensei occasionally had chances to personally serve the Founder. He was grateful for those opportunities to have had personal interaction with O'Sensei. Throughout his life, he continued to realize new and very real implications of what the Founder told him many years ago. He always continued to see Aikido through the Founder’s image, as Kato Sensei would always say, “To me, the Founder is not dead. He is still alive in my mind and in my heart.”

Kato Sensei attended the Doshu's class for three generations: the Founder, the second Doshu, and the current third Doshu. He received his first 6 black belts from the Founder and his next 2 black belts from the second Doshu.

His self-training in Aikido has been ascetic. In his early years, he often used to practice weapons by himself through the night, greet sunrise the next morning, and then go to work again.

Kato Sensei's Aikido had a measure of personal spirituality to it. Before every class, Kato Sensei had the practice of coming early to the dojo to meditate and pray. Since he was a youth he visited mountain shrines and stayed up all night practicing weapons and meditating.

Kato Sensei regarded O’Sensei with utmost respect and considered him to be his only teacher. He states that the Founder didn’t teach him directly, rather that he learned from the Founder. Kato Sensei believed that others cannot teach us Aikido, it is something we must learn ourselves from others. He sumed this up by saying, "Aikido is not something to learn from others, but to learn by oneself. Ideally, the practice should be for oneself, and it should be rigorous and sternly self-disciplined, by one’s own choice."

In 1965, an informal practice group named Yagyu-kai was formed under his guidance and direction. Most of the members were black belt holders and he enjoyed teaching, hard training, and lively conversation after practice.

In 1987, he formally established Suginami Aikikai in Ogikubo, Suginamiku, as a branch dojo under Aikikai Hombu Dojo. The former Yagyu-kai was then incorporated into Suginami Aikikai. At this time, he continued to train at the Aikikai Hombu dojo.

In the 1990's, he retired from his work as a printer and began teaching Aikido full time.

In 1994, he received 8th dan and in the same year, he began to teach Aikido in the US. By the end of the decade, Kato Sensei was traveling to North America to teach Aikido at his branch dojos in California, Texas, Arizona, and Mexico twice a year. He also began offering seminars at other Aikikai affiliated dojos as a guest instructor such as his visits to Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela in South America. Kato Sensei was also petitioned by dojos in other nations as well and received dojos in Mexico,Indonesia and Holland as his affiliates. Kato Sensei finshed his Aikido journey with over 80 affiliate dojos throughout the world.

From 1999 through 2001, he received commendations for his contribution of promoting Aikido in Houston from the Mayor of Houston, Texas.

In 2001, “Suginami Aikikai” received commendation from the Governor of Tokyo as an Excellent Organization. This year, he also began to teach Aikido at the OASIS Sports Center in Tokyo. That program continues, and is expanding.

Reflecting its depth and maturity as a dojo, Kato Sensei's original dojo, the Suginami Aikikai developed several high level yudansha (such as 6th, 7th, 8th dans) and new members continually joined. As in his early days, Kato Sensei always enjoyed intense training with everyone. Members both in Tokyo and abroad had brisk international exchanges, as visitors from various dojos came to train with him in Tokyo.

Truly “every person’s" aikidoist, Kato Sensei exemplified one who had persevered in his own practice, was recognized, and rose to high rank on his own merit. Like most of us “normal people,” he was a person who worked a regular job and trained in what spare time was available, persevering by training hard and never giving up.

Kato Sensei was a living resource as an authentic link to modern Aikido's
origins. That was attested by the fact that his Aikido World Headquarters card number was the number 6.

Succinctly, Kato Sensei served as a superb and creative guide for his students in establishing “Wa” (harmony), both in spirit, in daily life and in Aikido.

On December 2, 2012, after returning to Tokyo from an overseas trip, Kato Sensei was taken to the hospital because of a sudden illness. He peacefully passed on later that day. We, his students all over the world seek to honor the legacy that he left us by continuing to train in the teachings that he left us. We all miss him very much and he will live in our hearts forever.


Jorge Garcia, 5th Degree Black Belt (1956 - 2023)
Shudokan Aikido Association Founder

Jorge Garcia began his practice of Aikido in 1995 at the Corpus Christi Aikikai under Sensei Eddie Martinez in the Midwest Aikido Federation led by Akira Tohei Shihan, 8th Dan. Jorge was privileged to train in seminars under Tohei Sensei and was received his early kyu rankings directly from him. In 1998, the Garcia's moved to Houston,Texas where Jorge first attended a seminar taught by Hiroshi Kato Shihan. After experiencing Kato Sensei's powerful Aikido, Jorge decided to dedicate himself to Kato Shihan's teachings and he continued to train under Kato Shihan's supervision since.

In January of 2004, Jorge received permission from Kato Shihan to establish the Shudokan School of Aikido and Kato Shihan personally approved the name "Shudokan" for our dojo. In the same year, Jorge founded the Shudokan Aikido Association as an organization through which other dojos could join in order to pursue Kato Sensei's teachings.

In February of 2005, at the invitation of Dojo-cho Michael Wise, Jorge began teaching Aikido at the Shindokan dojo in west Houston. This dojo became a satellite dojo of the Shudokan School of Aikido and it eventually merged with the Shudokan School of Aikido to make one dojo out of the two.

In the spring of 2005, Jorge also began studying Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido in the Houston San Shin Kai with Craig Hocker Sensei. The Houston San Shin Kai is under the auspices of the North American San Shin Kai directed by Shihan Roger Wehrhahn who was under the guidance of the late Grandmaster Takeshi Mitsuzuka of the San Shin Kai of Tokyo, Japan.
Jorge no longer trains in Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido officially but continues training what he learned in this art privately.

In May of 2007, Jorge resigned his "day job" as a school teacher and became a full time Aikido Instructor.

In November of 2008, Jorge found a new location in West Houston for the dojo and he moved his Aikido group to the current Kieth Harrow location. It is in this new location that the dojo began anew with a different class schedule, new Kids program and daily philosophy study along with vigorous training in Aikido thus ushering in a new day for the Shudokan School of Aikido in Houston. This Aikido group now has its own location, secure in its pursuit of Aikido in the future. After 6 years at the new location, the dojo has grown an average of 100 students and is on its way to becoming one of the premier dojos in the Houston area.

Since 1998, Jorge has been privileged to have studied in 42 seminars led by Kato Shihan, each ranging from 10 days and up to 29 days at a time. In total, Jorge has attended over 70 Aikido training seminars, all with master level instructors and in the last decade, he has trained in seminars with most of the leading instructors of the art in this country.

On March 19, 2009, the Shudokan Aikido Association met for their 5th Anniversary dinner in Houston, Texas. At that dinner, Jorge was presented a special black belt by Yasuhiro Sakahara that had the words "Shudokan" on one side and on the other side, the words "Garcia Kansho". Jorge was deeply honored by this special gift. That weekend, the Shudokan Aikido Association received Hiroshi Kato in seminar in Houston, Texas for the 8th time. At this seminar, Jorge was tested by Hiroshi Kato Shihan and was awarded the 4th degree black belt in Aikido. Jorge has received his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree black belts directly from Hiroshi Kato Shihan.

Sadly, Hiroshi Kato Shihan passed away on December 2, 2012. One of his collogues, Seiji Ido, 7th dan took the responsibility of making the annual visits from Japan to Houston, in Kato Sensei's place, in order to continue teaching the members of the Shudokan Aikido Association in Kato Sensei's tradition.

In the Fall of 2014, Seiji Ido, Shihan-dai recommended that Jorge be promoted to the 5th degree black belt in Aikido. On January 11, 2015, Jorge's promotion to 5th dan was granted by Moriteru Ueshiba, the world leader of Aikido, at the Kagami Biraki gathering of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan.

Throughout his life, Garcia Sensei endeavored to present the basics of Kato Sensei's Aikido to all of the students of the Shudokan Aikido Association and beyond, who travelled on the path along with him. He was an incredible, passionate aikidoist who tirelessly pursued the teachings of his friend and shidoshi, Hrioshi Kato. He was a compassionate teacher, mentor, and man of God. He is dearly missed by us all.


Joe Cavazos, 4th Degree Black Belt
Shudokan Aikido Association Technical Director

Joe started Aikido in April of 1991 under Bill Sosa Sensei, 6th dan and trained under him for a number of years. For many years, he also was active in his study of Aikido by attending many seminars from other styles other than his own. After Sosa Sensei's death, Joe continued his training under Lynn Fabia Sensei in a new organization called the Society of Aikido Centers. In 2005, Joe was granted the 4th dan by the SAC.

Eventually, after leaving that group, Joe met Jorge Garcia Sensei and was introduced to Shihan Hiroshi Kato. Joe then petitioned to become a personal student of his.

In 2007 Joe formally joined the Aikikai with the help of Hiroshi Kato Sensei. After some time passed was awarded the rank of 2nd dan Aikikai directly by Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, as per Kato Shihan's recommendation.

In October of 2010, Joe received notice from Japan of the approval of Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba (upon Kato Sensei's special recommendation) that he was being advanced to the 3rd degree black belt.

In May of 2014, Joe Cavazos Sensei took his exam for 4th degree black belt under Shihan-dai Seiji Ido, 7th dan of the Suginami Aikikai. The exam was grueling and long, lasting more than an hour. The exam was well received and praised by all as a very impressive display of his Aikido knowledge and skill.

Joe Sensei currently fulfills a variety of demanding roles in our organization. He is the founder and Chief Instructor of the Aikido Center of Mission, Texas, and the Regional Director of Shudokan Aikido Association's South Texas-Mexico Region which has 8 dojos in South Texas and Northern Mexico. He also serves as the Technical Director and Vice President for the Shudokan Aikido Association.

Joe regularly teaches adult classes in the Houston dojo.


Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:34:21 (44641 reads)

1. What is Aikido?
Aikido is the practice and training in a secret principle called "Aiki". Aiki is a secret concept known only to certain ancient Japanese clan Samurai warriors. This concept, application, or principle was used in their fighting strategies when they engaged their opponents. As the clan style of civilization began to disappear and as the ways of waging war began to change, the concept of "Aiki" became even more secretive and was passed on only from one Headmaster to another within the groups that still possessed this knowledge.

2. How was this knowledge or concept passed on to us in this modern time?
When the time of the Japanese clan warriors had completely passed in the late 19th century, one of the last great warriors, Sokaku Takeda, was wandering around Japan, earning a living teaching secret Samurai techniques to people. He would charge them by the technique and he would travel in a circuit which grew larger and larger as he met more people that wanted to learn. Coming from a Samurai family and background, he was qualified to do nothing else. He knew nothing else except the ancient fighting techniques of the Aizu clan. He would enter a city, draw some attention by defeating local ruffians and thugs and then gather a small group of trainees for a meeting. He would teach them a few techniques and then tell them to practice these until he could return later in the year, then he would move on.

On one of these circuit journeys, he met a young man named Morihei Ueshiba. This young man was an exceptional student who paid to learn more and was good at what he was taught. Morihei was especially dedicated and he gained the approval of Sokaku Takeda to the point that Morihei was able to learn the secret of Aiki from Takeda over a 21-year period of training with him at certain times of the year. This secret of Aiki was an aspect Takeda didn't teach the average person. It was not to his advantage to do so as he kept his clients coming back for more and he also kept his mastery over them by hiding the secret.

With his knowledge and ability, Morihei developed a reputation in Japan as Japan's greatest martial artist. What helped him develop what is now called Aikido was when he met a religious leader who changed Morihei's worldview. The man was named Onisaburo Deguichi. Deguichi was an eccentric and odd man and had many far-fetched ideas, but his ideal of peace on earth was one of the main issues that deeply influenced the young Morihei.

Morihei Ueshiba then began to develop the idea of a superior martial art that would teach the ideal of non-fighting or the ideal of stopping an attack with "Aiki" with the view of peace in mind. This revelation came to him in an incident where he got into an argument with a sword fighter who grabbed a wooden practice sword and started attacking Morihei. Morihei used evasive movements until the sword fighter gave up the fight exhausted. It was then that the revelation of taking away the spirit of opposition and fighting from your attacker came to Morihei.

Morihei spent the rest of his life perfecting "Aikido", the art of peace. This would be an art that he hoped people would use the length of their lives to learn, in which they would learn the principles of non confrontation, peace with all and victory over our own aggressive fighting tendencies. Morihei believed that this secret concept of "Aiki" was what would give the exponents of Aikido the ability to defeat almost any opponent and that the art would be effective against a real attack and yet teach peace and good will toward all at the same time. His main concern though was always that this art not be taught to criminals or evil people who would use it for bad purposes.

3. Is "Aiki" easy to learn?
No, it's actually quite difficult. Everyone can learn Aikido but you must exercise patience, perseverance, determination, and you must have faith in yourself and in your own latent potential ability. Some exceptional people walk through the door with these qualities. Many others develop these qualities while in the pursuit of learning the art of Aikido.

4. How is "Aiki" taught?
"Aiki" is taught through the techniques of Aikido. The techniques are not "Aiki". Aiki is the governing principle in every technique that we teach. Aiki is a way of moving the energy in the body to meet or manipulate a physical attack in such a way as to defuse it. The principle of Aiki involves several concepts. These concepts are conditioned reflexes, coordinated breathing, timing, blending with the attack, joining yourself to the motion coming at you and then learning how to extend or propel the energy out from your body. Each technique we teach is designed to teach your body the feeling of these physical principles. So first, we learn the form of the techniques, then we come to understand the principles that are making the technique work. This process requires learning the steps and forms of 15 techniques which have hundreds of variations. The training to become a black belt involves learning the 15 basic forms and then about 150 variations of those 15 forms. There are really about 3000 variations of those 15 forms but most instructors use only about 150 variations that are practiced to get the person to the black belt level.

When you become a black belt, then you are no longer learning how to do techniques. At this time, you begin working with the governing principle of Aiki and you are allowed to gradually experiment with the form and to divert from the form. Eventually at the master level, the form disappears and the body is fully trained to move naturally, using the principle of Aiki, in natural, creative and innovative ways.

5. So then Aikido is not really learning to fight?
That's right.

6. What is Aikido then?
Aikido is learning to stop a fight using an ancient Samurai principle called Aiki. While the Samurai used Aiki to fight and to kill, it was Morihei Ueshiba that took the concept of Aiki and sought to use it to create peace, love and harmony. This was his innovation and contribution to modern society and this is why Aikido is so different than other martial arts. We don't want to fight. We don't care about competitions or tournaments or defeating other people. Our goal is to train together as friends, to develop a community of people training in the ideals of peaceful coexistence while defending against evil and harm but doing so in such a way so as not to permanently injure or harm the other person.

7. How can Aikido change my life?
More than a fighting strategy, Aikido is a way of life. The word Aikido means the "Way of Aiki". In the old style Japanese culture, the arts were considered paths to intuitive wisdom. Philosophically then , Aikido is a way of life that trains the body through the discipline of the training itself. Within the dojo environment, the study of Aikido becomes the place where the ego interacts with the discipline of the art and the individual then encounters new frontiers of their own spirituality as they struggle to conquer their own self will. Every aspect of the "self" is eventually challenged within the training and the new person emerges having been forged through constant daily training.

"I want considerate people to listen to the voice of Aikido. It is not for correcting others; it is for correcting your own mind. This is Aikido. This is the mission of Aikido and should be your mission."
O Sensei - Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido

Posted by JGarcia on 2011/12/7 15:31:50 (47523 reads)

Shudokan Aikido is located at Samurai Martial Arts, 17111 Kieth Harrow, Houston, Texas 77084.

Weekly Aikido Schedule

• 6:00pm - 7:00pm: Children's Aikido
• 7:05pm - 8:05pm: Adult Aikido

• 6:30pm - 7:30pm: Adult Aikido

• Closed

• 5:30pm - 6:30pm: Children's Aikido
• 6:30pm - 7:30pm: Adult Aikido

• Closed

• 11:00am - 12:30pm: Open Mat/ Adult Aikido
• 3:00pm - 4:00pm: Children & Adult Aikido

• 8:00am - 9:30am: Adult Aikido


Membership Fees
Monthly Rates - Unlimited Classes - No Contract

Monthly Training Fees
Unlimited training at our Houston dojo during the calendar month.

Individual Child or Youth $65
Individual Adult $95

We offer two free trial classes to prospective students and have generously discounted rates for family groups (please ask for details)

Annual Association Dues (all adult members)

Shudokan Aikido Association $25

The Shudokan Aikido Association hosts Friendship Seminars with distinguished guest instructors from around the world, arranges our regional seminars, and administers all aikido testing for adult students of our member dojos.

Current membership is required for all adult aikido rank testing through our Association. The fee is due on the date of your first adult test and annually from then on.

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